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Twitter Discovers That the 'Nodding Guy' Meme is Actually Robert Redford, Not Zach Galifianakis

By Petr Knava | Social Media | July 10, 2019 |

By Petr Knava | Social Media | July 10, 2019 |


twitter-robert-redford-nodding-guy-header.png

It was an eventful day on the boulevards and avenues of Twitter last night, as we all gathered at our balconies and hollered at everyone else hollering, to the tune of one of the main templates of the site:

‘HEY, DID YOU KNOW THAT THING WE THOUGHT WAS THIS THING IS ACTUALLY THIS OTHER THING?!’

The Twitter agora thrives on this sort of stuff. It bustles with people ‘discovering’ and ‘re-discovering’ and ‘re-contextualising’ things. It’s a fascinating sight to behold. I’m on Twitter, but the place often makes me feel a bit nauseous. Not just cos of the whole ‘Eyooooo, who wants Nazis? Because we got ‘em! Seriously, a whole bunch of ‘em. Bug eyed little Twitlers, running all over the place’ thing. It’s the general level of discourse that gets to me. There are a lot of amazing people on there that I follow but in general the nature of the platform itself encourages three things: surface-level, outraged sizzle-takes on politics; righteous call-outs based around something someone once said a decade ago; and—the one closest to last night’s hullabaloo—‘Hey, remember how good this thing from, like, five years ago is??’

But then again! Just so we crack a window and waft that stench of hypocrisy out: Hi, hello, it’s me, the bloke who wrote an appreciation post about Zodiac on its whopping tenth anniversary. And a similar thing about 1995’s, Die Hard With a Vengeance. AND a twentieth anniversary post for Grosse Point Blank. These ain’t exactly ancient classics is what I’m saying. So I’m not judging anyone, or making a value judgement. Just saying that Twitter seems to encourage a relatively short-term reflexive nostalgia vibe.

And I guess in line with that was last night’s revelation that the ‘nodding guy’ meme, a very often used reaction gif, is actually Robert Redford in the 1972 Sydney Pollack western, Jeremiah Johnson, and not—as many had apparently believed—Zach Galifianakis.

Like so:

Redford:

via GIPHY

Zach:

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And so Twitter, so often used by many to point out how great X movie from the last decade or so was, and by others beseeching people to watch movies that existed prior to the year 2000, was abuzz.

Here’s my confession: I didn’t know that was Robert Redford either, not until about two years or so ago. Now, I consider myself a film fan. Shit, I get paid to write about movies sometimes. And I’ve a decent command of the classics. And I’ve seen a bunch of Sydney Pollack films. And and I’m also a fan of Robert Redford. But, I’ve still never seen Jeremiah Johnson.

via GIPHY

I didn’t think it was Zach Galifianakis, mostly because it’s pretty evident from the look of the clip that it’s from a time when Galifianakis would’ve still just been a child. But let’s be honest: It doesn’t not look like an adult Galifianakis does it?

So what’ve we learned today, kids? What, in the end, is the take away here?

Dammed if I know, but while I’m being confessional and laying it all out there I’m gonna go ahead and just post a few more of my favourite, oft-used, gif memes, the origin of which I know absolutely nothing about:

via GIPHY

via GIPHY

via GIPHY

via GIPHY

via GIPHY

via GIPHY

via GIPHY

And here, here is my possibly most used gif of all time, featuring one of my favourite actors of all time. I am spiritually bonded to this loop. And I have zero idea where it’s from.

via GIPHY

Sure I could just stagger over to KnowYourMeme and feast upon the necessary knowledge therein. But also?

via GIPHY



Petr is a staff contributor. You can follow him on Twitter.


Header Image Source: Warner Bros.


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